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I hope you had a great week!

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Random Things Happening Behind the Scenes at Bricks ‘n Blooms

What a week it was!

I am gearing up for another blogging conference in two weeks in Atlanta, GA.

At this conference, I’m mentoring a group of bloggers and meeting up with lots of friends that I’ve met through this journey but haven’t hung out with them in person yet.

Should be a good time and I’ll share all the fun after the event.

Black labrador retriever hanging out by the pool

Family Life

After spending the weekend in Vermont for July 4th without further incident on the boat, we regrouped with the girls back home for a patriotic barbeque.

Aside from that, it’s been a relatively quiet week.

view of driveway garden in summer with sunflowers, nepeta, and rose mallows with potager garden in background with green fence
Driveway garden with nepeta, moonbeam coreopsis, sunflowers, and rose mallows

In the Garden

The gardens are looking really good. I’ve got rose mallows growing in the bed along the driveway and they are HUGE!

If you’ve never grown rose mallow before, check out Summerific Hibiscus from Proven Winners. They have such an array of varieties and you can’t beat the size of the blooms!

The foliage is beyond beautiful too.

I noticed some holes in the leaves here and upon closer inspection, discovered Japanese beetles.

But even worse?

front yard of 1850 farmhouse at sunset with expansive gardens in zone 6a new jersey garden

I found spotted lantern fly nymphs.

They are fast, do a lot of damage, and are difficult to control.

I’ve been knocking the Japanese beetles into soapy buckets for now to help control them and spraying the spotted lanternfly nymphs with insecticidal soap every few days to help control them.

If you’ve got tips for dealing with the lanternflies, let me know in the comments. In the last two years, the population is increasing and they are doing more and more damage to plants.

We also noticed a blue heron hanging around my neighbor’s pond.

Let’s hope Fred and Bob keep him out of the front pond until we can get it netted.

blue heron and alligator decoy in pond garden with foot bridge and fountain

Gardening Tip!

Before we left for Vermont last weekend, I saw the little bunny that we saved literally mowing down my liatris flowers.

Seriously – it was just cutting the stalks down and that was it!

I immediately chased it away and ran to the garage to grab some scat mats I picked up a few months ago for this very reason.

To protect the flowers, I surrounded the plant with a few scat mats and the bunny has since left them alone!

Now it would be tough to do a large area unless you bought alot of mats…but it worked for a smaller area.

So if you’ve got some critters hanging around certain plants. I highly suggest these as a solution to protect them.

close up of liatris in conttage garden as it starts to bloom with bee balm in background against green picket fence

What’s Happening at Bricks ‘n Blooms

It was a fun week on the blog!

I’ve been busy behind the scenes working on something for the holidays. Can’t wait to update you all about it soon!

Speaking of Japanese beetles earlier, the best way to control them in the garden is with a long-term approach to lawn care that is organic.

Check out this gardening tip that will help control Japanese beetles in the garden.

You’re probably thinking how does the lawn have anything to do with beetles in the garden – but it does.

Check out the post to learn why.

close up of centerpiece for hawaiian party theme dining table with pineapples, fuschia pink roses, candles, sunflowers, snapdragons, votives, taper candles, sliced oranges, limes, lemons on a light green bohemian table cloth in the potager garden

I also shared my DIY centerpiece with flowers and pineapples from my summer dinner party with friends.

It’s easy to make and you can’t beat the aroma of the fruit and flowers at the table.

I also joined a group of blogging friends to share some porch decorating and entertaining ideas for summer that you can’t miss.

Wait until you see my tip for keeping bugs away from the porch!

wide angle view of the zen garden with back porch

And finally, I shared a tour of a small cottage garden near the front porch that looks so pretty right now!

My snapdragon and larkspur seedlings are blooming and I’ve been making a lot of arrangements for my family and friends.

Wait until you see how beautiful the flowers look!

Watch it HERE.

pink snapdragons in the small cottage garden by the front porch

Amazing Inspiration from Around the Web

I love finding cool inspiration from around the web and wanted to share some of what I’m loving right now.

My good friend Kim from Cottage in the Mitten shared some easy porch decorating ideas and her superwave petunia planter totally caught my eye!

Look at this gorgeous container garden!!!

beautiful pink flowers in container

My good friend Mary from Life at Bella Terra gave this antique sofa a makeover and it looks AMAZING!

I am planning to reupholster my dining room chairs so this post resonated with me.

Wait until you see what it looks like now!

chair needing restoration

And here is some more inspiration you’ve got to see!

I definately want to visit this vintage bazaar next time it comes around in New England.

This homemade coleslaw recipe.

These coastal Maine patriotic decorating ideas.

These cottage style bedroom ideas.

This DIY serving tray update.

This summer formal living room tour. Love it!!!

This patriotic porch.

These hardwood floor cleaning tips.

This painting a bookshelf project.

This small basement kitchenette reveal.

cottage garden with snapdragons by front porch with view of valley
Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

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  1. Stacy,
    I’m glad you had a good week. Sorry about that bunny! We feel the same about geese on our property. Thanks so much for sharing my recipe this week. I’ll be at it again next Sunday.

    1. Do they mow your plants down too? I bet this would work if you had ones in particular they were bothering. You are welcome can’t wait to try it!

  2. Stacy, I am so impressed with your bug knowledge! I don’t believe we have Japanese beetles here..? But we do have our fair share of other critters. It is so wonderful to see your garden, as mine is nearly burnt out. Am awaiting the opportunity to pull it all and start planting in September/October. Love all your photos! Thanks for sharing my sofa re-do. I still can’t believe how beautiful it is!

    1. You are welcome I LOVE how amazing it looks!!!! We have had a surprisingly seasonable summer so far so everything is doing well and still looking good! Even some pansies are still doing ok which they never survive July 1.

  3. Stacy, you have a great blog! At your blogging conference, could you please encourage folks to post an announcement when they decide to take a break or discontinue their blog? I’m not a blogger but I am a faithful follower of many, and one of the gals I follow posted April 1 and hasn’t posted since. I don’t do Facebook or Instagram, but I know she’s active there. It’s just the polite thing to do to let followers know what to expect. Thanks for listening.

    1. Beth this is AMAZING feedback. I will definitely share that with my group! I’m so glad you mentioned it. It is wonderful to meet you – thank you for being here!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing my patriotic decor post, Stacy! I so appreciate your support as I launch my blog. You sure are doing battle with the critters this year. I have never heard of the lantern bugs and now I am nervous! I hope you are victorious!

    1. They are native to Asia and so we don’t really have predators here for them. Around here they started doing some damage a few years ago and are getting progressively worse. Hopefully they won’t make their way up there! They are awful. And you are welcome! I love following your journey!!! xo

  5. I have never heard of a scat mat and will definitely have to check them out! Thanks so much for the share, Stacy! I have never had petunia planters do so well! Have a great week ahead!

    1. It’s pretty effective – easier to do in smaller area but if you bought a lot you could cover more ground. My liatris still stands today!!! And you are welcome! xoxo

  6. Your gardens are always so gorgeous, Stacy! Every time I see them I picture myself walking through an enchanted forest and discovering new plants and flowers. They’re all really beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing my tray update. I really appreciate it! Hope your summer has been a fun one so far and I can’t wait to hear how everything goes at Haven. Hugs, CoCo

  7. I wish I knew what half of my bugs were and how to deal with them, Stacy. I have this creepy green bug that I think is a leaf hopper on my sunflowers. And let’s not even start on the deer and bunnies. Your garden looks gorgeous as ever. Thank you for sharing my July gardening to-dos.

    1. The pests are the worst this time of year – I am ordering more of those scat mats today – maybe I can salvage some of these zinnias.